Town Council meeting in North East Abingdon

Town Council
As work continues at the Guildhall, the Abingdon-on-Thames Town Council meeting was moved to another part of town.
Town Council
The council met at the North East Abingdon Community Centre, next to the Peachcroft Shops.

The meeting began with the presentation of grant cheques to community groups. Then members of the public were allowed to speak.

A business person gave an update about the closure of the BID (Business Improvement District) after a petition showed businesses overwhelmingly wanted the district council to wind it up. But questions remained about BID accounts and when businesses would see some of their money back.

Pat Bryden showed the maps she is a designing as a tribute to Alan Bryden, an ex Councillor. They will be the other side of the River and Rye Farm car park.

There was a question by Councillor Angela Lawrence, the one Independent on the Council, about progress on the Community Led Plan, something she is keen on. She was told that only 4 people turned up at the last meeting by the Chair of the Plan Committee, who is waiting for community groups to come back having made progress on their actions before calling another meeting. The Chair said it was a Community Led Plan not a Council Led Plan.

The Mayor announced forthcoming dates which include the Over 70s Christmas Party on 17th December, and a quiz at a yet to be decided date – due to uncertainty about the Guildhall.

There was some discussion about the Guildhall where refurbishment is over budget by over £300K due to 3 unforeseen factors: the need to remove asbestos, water ingress issues, and the biggest factor – changing regulations for fire detection and emergency lighting .

However the chairman of the Guildhall Committee said they had the money thanks to the £1.2M pot that the District Council gave to the Town Council to take over the building, and the money saved because the Guildhall has been closed for three years. The old and new parts of the building will be outsourced and run by the company who are going to open the cinema in the Abbey Hall, and that will mean reduced running costs for the council. The building will also be fit for the next twenty or thirty years. It had been neglected in the past under the previous owner – the district council.

It had been proposed that 3 flags be erected in the newly refurbished Roysse Court, at a cost of £5K, but the Council decided not. Councillor Pat Lonergan said the town was over-flagged anyway. The council are to purchase a WWI memorial bench and a WWII memorial bench for the Roysse Court.

Three silhouette soldiers have been given to the Council who wanted to find a good location where they would not be vandalised. They could go in Roysse Court or beneath the County Hall Museum.

The Council flicked through a lot more committee minutes with few comments. There are of course the upcoming 100th Anniversary of the end of the First World War Years events in Abingdon. They include a Bun Throwing on 10th November, and a special service on the same day with readings from the Roll of Honour.

11 thoughts on “Town Council meeting in North East Abingdon

  1. Peter Del

    I hope that Council appointed Stewards, during the Bun Throwing, will tell selfish people with upturned umbrellas to put them away! Or put up notices to that effect.

  2. Steven

    “selfish people” oh come off it Peter! Last time it was bunches of young scallies aged about 12 years old, spaced around the base of the museum, doing what young scallies do, and it was hilarious watching them! One entrepreneurial type had about 30 buns in his umbrella – better there than on the floor

  3. Peter Del

    If that’s the case, then I apologize, as I was only repeating what I’ve been told – never having witnessed the tradition myself.

  4. John

    Young scallies or not, it is selfish to accumulate buns when others have none. I have often seen athletic young people jumping and knocking aside children or elderly folk as they try to catch buns. Share them around, guys.

  5. ppjs

    I have frequently observed upturned umbrellas in all areas of the crowd at these events. Perhaps, we should form an orderly queue and have a equitable distribution…

    I suspect that in the [good] old days, there were entrepreneurial spirits who bagged more than their fair share. People are people.

  6. Chris John

    The guildhall refurbishment is over budget by £300k and the only comments is about bun throwing and umbrellas!

  7. newcomer

    As extensively discussed in the past, The Vale played a blinder in conning the TC into taking responsibility for the Guildhall. The £1.2 million was a cheap deal for them to divest themselves of ongoing current liabilities.

    A least the TC has finally conceded that there’s no entertainment impresario in their midst and handed over the running of the venue to people who’ve got experience in amusing The Masses … though the TC itself is not without flashes of entertainment value.

  8. Iain

    My annual post where I agree with Newcomer!

    A very positive move and really looking forward to having a full-time professional cinema in the Town following on from the successful pilot at the Unicorn (which is continuing alongside the Guildhall as an additional screen).

    Well done all and wishing the best of success to the Wiper family.

  9. Mark Hargreaves

    Roysse Court is a good location for a Silent Silhouette and a WW1 memorial bench. The Roysse Room was the Drill Hall and troop HQ of the Abingdon Troop of the Berkshire Yeomanry. After mobilisation they served at Gallipoli, in Egypt Sinai, and Palestine. In 1918 they were transferred to the Western Front, their troop ship being torpedoed as it crossed the Mediterranean.


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